Looking for an alternative to Google+ (also called Google Plus and G +)? It can be easier than you think!
Since the social media platform closed its doors in 2019, consumers have been looking for another option to balance the features, traffic and SEO benefits.
Fortunately, there are several substitutes that you can use.
Here are the best Google Plus alternatives and how you can use them to grow your online business.
What was Google Plus and why did it shut down?
Google Plus was Google's fourth attempt at building a social media network. Its predecessors included Google Buzz, Google Friend Connect, and Orkut.
While Google Plus initially succeeded with 395 million active accounts in 2016 and Facebook viewing the network as a threat, it soon became unavailable.
For years, you had to have a Google Plus account to use features like Google Photos, Hangouts, and YouTube. Hence, most of the consumers have created Google Plus accounts to use these other apps – not the social media platform.
Then a data breach occurred. Google discovered a bug that allowed third-party apps to access the private information of 500,000 Google Plus users.
When Google announced its decision to phase out Google Plus in 2018 due to low usage, it made sense.
5 Social Media Platforms To Replace Google Plus For Local Businesses
There is no single replacement for Google Plus.
Depending on your business and where your main audience is, you can use any or all of the platforms listed below to restore some Google Plus functionality.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a snippet of information about your company's operational information, reviews and much more. When you access GMBcan, it can be viewed as a company profile on both desktop and mobile, and on Google Maps when users search for brands like yours.
Business profiles in Google Search look like this:
Business profiles on Google Maps look like this:
Business profiles for mobile search look like this:
While all of this information is likely on your website, GMB will help you index the content and make it available to a wider audience.
The result? A potential increase in search results rankings, sales, and valuable insights about your customers.
Why Google My Business is a good replacement for Google Plus
Google My Business is more than a local online business directory. It has "social" functions, making it a suitable replacement for Google Plus.
People can tap the "+ Follow" button under your entry on their mobile devices and receive updates from your company. You can use the feature to send out a special "welcome offer" when someone signs up to encourage them to shop in your store.
Finally, Google My Business has interactive features like ratings and a questions and answers section. With 91% of younger customers using online reviews to make purchasing decisions, incorporating and monitoring brand sentiment can help you build stronger “knowledge, like, and trust” for your audience.
How to use Google My Business:
- Highlight all information about your company, e.g. B. Hours of Operation, your website, products, menus, location and other important details.
- Use the GMB dashboard to see which searches people are using to find your business, a breakdown of actions (calls, clicks, bookings), and how your profile is performing against others in your category.
- Boost your local SEO by optimizing your GMB profile with keywords to help you rank higher in local search results.
Facebook for local businesses
Facebook is the largest social media network in the world. An average of 1.82 billion people log into the site every day and there are a whopping 2.7 billion active users per month.
As the platform began to keep in touch with friends and family, it has grown into a powerful and lucrative business tool.
Why Facebook is a good replacement for Google Plus
Building an online community that loves your brand is one of the keys to success.
The only problem?
It's a challenge to start over, and it was an issue that the Google Plus community handled well.
Fortunately, you can replace it with two Facebook options: Groups and Business Pages.
Over 1.4 billion people use Facebook groups every month. The feature includes a variety of tools that you can use to add value to your audience and drive engagement.
With Facebook Business Pages, you can replace your Google Plus page and get features like ratings, instant messaging and automated replies, special offers and analytics.
If you have the budget, you can access these 2 billion people through targeted Facebook ads.
How to use Facebook:
- Create a Facebook group to build a strong community and help people connect.
- Share exclusive offers on your Facebook page.
- Share important business information like location, contact details, website and menus.
- Create and promote events.
- Offer instant customer support.
- Direct traffic back to your website.
- Use reviews to build your brand's credibility.
- Get feedback straight from your audience.
LinkedIn for local businesses
For professionals, LinkedIn may be one of the best alternatives to Google Plus. With 700 million active users, the networking site has become one of the top social media sites.
By now, many of us have created personal LinkedIn profiles to keep up with colleagues, apply for jobs, and promote our brands.
When used correctly, LinkedIn can go a step further and help you generate leads and establish yourself as an industry thought leader.
Why LinkedIn is a good replacement for Google+
One of the best features on Google Plus was circles.
You can create different ones and then add people. It was a way to segment your updates and keep your work and business life separate.
LinkedIn helps you keep that balance. You can connect with colleagues, introduce potential customers and share content to strengthen your business or personal brand.
How to use LinkedIn:
- SEO optimize your profile with keywords that potential customers could use to find you.
- Join LinkedIn industry or niche groups to connect with like-minded people and establish your brand.
- Share updates and opinions about your company or your industry on a regular basis.
- Ask your 1st degree connections for an introduction to 2nd or 3rd degree connections that match your ideal consumer profile.
- Publish articles on LinkedIn Pulse with actionable content for your dream customers.
Pinterest for local businesses
Do you own a visually appealing ecommerce brand?
Then it's time to harness the power of Pinterest.
With over 335 million monthly users, 2 billion searches per month, and a 48% shopping intent, this could be a lucrative way to showcase your brand to an engaged audience ready to spend.
Why Pinterest is a great replacement for Google Plus
While Google Plus was good at sharing updates and building a community, it had no way of increasing sales.
Pinterest, on the other hand, has exploded its e-commerce capabilities.
The platform introduces for sale Pins first, then promoted, and encourages users to take action on the inspirational content of their feeds.
Before moving on to Pinterest, however, you should know that the website is not for everyone.
Pinterest's audience is female and younger, and lifestyle brands generally see the greatest success.
Since the website is a visual search engine, your brand needs this element to be successful. If your brand doesn't match the platform's niche interests and demographics, it might not be the best Google Plus replacement for you.
How to use Pinterest:
- SEO optimizes your profile, boards and pins to improve your brand's visibility in search results.
- Create visually appealing Pins for users to click through.
- Activate Rich Pins and make your Pins shoppable to increase conversions.
- Use a Pinterest scheduler tool like Tailwind to help set the best times to get engaged.
- Invest in Pinterest ads to reach your ideal customer.
Instagram for local businesses
Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for relationship building and showing your customers the humanity behind your brand.
As the second most logged-in social media site with over a billion monthly active users, there's a good chance your customers will use the app.
This is especially true if you want to target Millennials and Gen Z. 13 to 17 year olds are the largest population group in the app, followed by 18 to 20 year olds and 30 to 49 year olds.
Why Instagram is a good replacement for Google Plus
Google Plus can upload photos, multi-person instant messaging, text and video calls, and location tags. Instagram has all of that and a lot more.
While savvy coaches and entrepreneurs use the app to sell in the DMs, Instagram has released more shoppable features and ads since it was acquired by Facebook.
You can tag products in photos and stories, and Instagram is also testing shoppable features on Reels and Instagram (IG) Live.
It's a potential gold mine for ecommerce brands.
How to use Instagram:
- Create a content calendar for your feed posts, IG Lives, IGTV, and Reels.
- Appear in Stories daily to stay on top of your followers' feeds.
- Do your hashtag research and find out what terms your ideal customer is using.
- Place targeted ads to increase your awareness and sales.
- Collaborate with other brands and developers in your niche.
- Use your bio blurb to encourage people to click the link in your bio.
- Use storytelling techniques in your captions to touch weak spots and generate sales.
- Learn how to take better photos or hire a photographer.
- Create shareable content.
How These Google Plus Alternatives Can Help Your Local Business
Still not convinced that these social media platforms can benefit your company?
Here are a few ways these Google Plus alternatives can help grow your audience and increase sales:
Create brand awareness and awareness
Using one or more social networks to replace Google Plus can help promote your business.
The more you show up online, the more people expose you to your brand and the more people will remember who you are and buy your product or service.
Increase your local business traffic
Content marketing is king. That way, you can reach out to your ideal customer, solve a problem, and get them to your website for free.
Using your social media platforms to promote your latest blog post or YouTube video can increase the number of eyeballs on your products or services and lead to more sales.
Use data to improve your marketing
With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest that offer in-depth analytics reports, you can dive deep into what resonates with your audience.
You can also use features like polls to survey your followers and find out which products or services you should post next.
Offer exceptional customer service
People expect companies to quickly address their customer service questions and complaints through social media.
Apps like Facebook can help you resolve complaints as quickly as possible, keep sales from falling through the cracks, and build meaningful relationships with your customers.
As you can see, there is no duplicate for Google Plus. Each of the networks we looked at are similar, but they don't offer the same features.
However, they are all great for building a community around your brand, bringing your business to new audiences, and promoting your products and services.
Which features are most important to you when looking for a suitable Google Plus alternative?